Three candidates to run in senate special election

Published 10:14 am Wednesday, January 11, 2023

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Senator Dean Burke announced his resignation in late December of last year, with plans to take a job as chief medical officer with the Georgia Department of Community Health. In a previous interview, Burke told reporters, “My passion’s obviously been health care. I feel like I can make a difference there.” With this resignation, three candidates have been selected to take his place: Sam Watson (R), former State House Rep; Mary Anderson-Weaver (D) of Cairo; and John Monds (L), also from Cairo.

Watson spoke with the Post-Searchlight, emphasizing his previous accomplishments and experience in politics as a feature that set him apart from his opponents. “I’ve been in the Georgia House 10 years,” he said. “I have good relations in the House, and good relations in the Senate.” He reiterated this as important for being able to begin working in the middle of a government session. “I’m running for this Senate position to fight for the families of rural Georgia,” he said.

Monds also spoke to the Post-Searchlight about the three main points of his platform: these include taxation, education and election reforms. With taxation, Monds said “I think Georgians are overtaxed,” and put an emphasis on people being able to “keep the fruits of their labor.” On the topic of education, he put an emphasis on “returning the power in this discussion to parents.” As for election reforms, Monds argued that, while most discussions about election reforms focus on how voting should work, “what’s also important is who we’re able to vote for.” Monds stated that one thing that set him apart from his opponents was his stance on freedom, saying, “I have more trust in people than in government.”

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Weaver-Anderson is the owner and founder of Weaver Medical Center in Cairo, as well as the non-profit organization Angels of Grace Community Wellness Center. She could not be reached for comment.

The special election is scheduled for January 31, though early voting began this Monday at the Decatur County elections office.